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My ten-year-old child has learning disabilities that I can’t explain in this letter because it would take too long. My husband and I think technology can help him. At least it helps us on our jobs. But what kind of technology can help him? We don’t know where to start. Is there a person who we could just tell everything to and have them let us know what to buy? Or a place like a store for people with learning disabilities? Or anywhere we can go just to learn what’s available? Please help.

Without knowing more details about your son’s specific needs, I can’t make a particular technology recommendation. However, there are a variety of resources and professionals available to help you make that choice. Many schools have an assistive technology coordinator in the building, or someone who provides assistive technology support for the district. You might check with your school’s special education coordinator to find out if someone is available for a technology consultation. If your school district does not have an assistive technology specialist, you can also contact your local children’s hospital. They will often be able to conduct assistive technology assessments and make recommendations about technology tools that might be helpful for your son. 

There are also a variety of websites that sell software programs that may help your son build key academic skills. Tom Snyder Productions(opens in a new window), Riverdeep(opens in a new window), and EnableMart(opens in a new window) all have excellent selections of software programs for improving core skills, supporting content area (math, science, social studies, and language arts) learning or engaging students in independent learning. A great resource for evaluating software programs to find the right one for your child is the TechMatrix(opens in a new window) — using this tool you can search for products by feature, subject area and learning support, as well as finding out information about where to purchase the tool.

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